Noah and Evie see their grief counsellors, Betsie and Kerri throughout the year. While the benefit truly lies with the kids it’s always been validation for me that for a family that lost its strongest pillar, we’re on the right path.
On arrival at The National Centre for Childhood Grief AKA A Friends Place, we have an open discussion with the kid’s involvement before they have their individual time with their therapist. On Wednesday, I told Betsie and Kerri that I’d had a few rough months and informed them of the detail.
Noah’s counsellor; Kerri, asked him during their session if he had noticed any change in me. Noah said, “yeah, Dad hasn’t been smiling and he’s been less productive.” When Kerri and Noah told me this at the conclusion of their time together, I found his remarks amusing, sad and beautiful at the same time.
Amusing because I thought his choice of words “less productive” were funny. Does a nine-year-old observe me as being unproductive, does he see me moping around or is he repeating something he heard me say? It’s a conversation I can explore with him to find out.
Sad because he observed me without a smile on my face for an extended period of time. I always try and smile for the kids but when it’s not happening naturally and it takes effort to do so then it happens less. It hurts that I projected diluted happiness when I was depressed.
Beautiful because he noticed. Noah has always looked out for me, he’s been blessed with his mother’s empathy. He has a remarkable soul, balanced with kindness, gentle confidence and understanding.
Kerri also said, “Noah is doing so well, you must be proud of him and you must be extremely proud of yourself?” And as her complement processed in my brain, I thought and contently responded; “yeah, I am.” Her complement sat in my tummy for the rest of the day like a healthy, warm cup of herbal tea.
I’m a good dad, I know I am. I’m always proud to tell other people how good my kids are but I’m becoming internally proud because their mother and I, along with close family build the foundations for them to be good kids.
Betsy always tells me how amazing Evie s doing. Betsy attempted a conversation with Evie that is part of an assessment survey about feelings of sadness. Evie just looked at Betsy with a puzzled face. “Sad, what do you mean? I’m never sad.” “Next question can we play a game now……….” in true Evie fashion.